Running Health: Balance - Pronation

What does a Pronation imbalance mean?

Imbalance in Pronation occurs when your left and right feet exhibit different pronation motion patterns as they contact the ground. It is not uncommon for your feet to move slightly differently. You might notice that one of your feet scores higher in ‘Neutral Pronation’.

When is Pronation imbalance a concern?

Some minor Pronation imbalance is not uncommon and nothing to worry about, particularly If you are running pain-free and maintaining a good running performance. If, however, any of the following conditions apply to you, then trying to improve Pronation Balance might be useful:

1) NURVV Run identifies that you have a Pronation imbalance of more than 10%.
2) You tend to suffer from persistent running-related injuries,
3) You wish to improve your running technique.

How can I identify my specific Pronation imbalance values?

You can access the Pronation screen of Running Health to identify the full breakdown of pronation categories for each foot and confirm which exercise plan(s) you should be following to improve your Pronation balance. For the example below the focus for this runner should be on reducing the Over Pronation on their left foot with the aim of running with a higher % of Neutral Pronation across both feet to improve their Pronation balance.

How can I improve my Pronation imbalance?

An effective way to improve a Pronation imbalance is to perform a series of foot and lower leg strength and flexibility exercises. You can use NURVV’s Running Health feature (described below) to establish what pronation type you are currently exhibiting and then select the relevant exercise plan below to try to promote a more neutral pronation for both feet.

Exercise Plans 

Over Pronation (time estimate: 35 mins)(Downloadable PDF)

This exercise plan will help you reduce your Over Pronation. Perform these exercises for 2-3 days per week for 3-4 weeks, then re-evaluate. To monitor your progress, check your Pronation scores in Running Health.

Under Pronation (time estimate: 35 mins)(Downloadable PDF)

This exercise plan will help you reduce your Under Pronation. Perform these exercises for 2-3 days per week for 3-4 weeks, then re-evaluate. To monitor your progress, check your Pronation scores in Running Health.

Balance and stability (time estimate: 25 mins)(Downloadable PDF)

The exercise plan below can help you to further improve your Pronation balance by developing lower limb control and stability. Perform this plan twice a week after your other Pronation exercises.

TIP: It is worth considering performing these barefoot to maximise the activation of the foot muscles and to challenge your balance more.

Using These Workouts

You will need to follow your chosen workout plan for 3-4 weeks, completing at least two session per week in order to see improvements

Remember, even after improvements are made, regular strength and conditioning sessions will be required to maintain improvements.

How can I tell if my Pronation imbalance is improving?

Running Health can show you whether your exercise program is helping to improve your Pronation imbalance.

1.  Go to the Running health screen Check your Health Radar graph regularly to see the current grading of your Balance. If you started with a low grading for Balance (i.e. ‘Bad’/’Poor’/’Average’ category), focus on whether you’re moving towards ‘Good’ / ‘Great’ categories.

2. Now scroll down to the A breakdown section, select Balance and check if Pronation is still identified as having the largest imbalance.

3.  On top of this Balance screen, your data are presented for the past 28 days. This graph is key for monitoring your progress once you start applying improvement strategies. You should aim for a gradual increase of the Balance line over time, ideally until it reaches the Good or Great zones (line will be shaded blue), this represents excellent left-right balance. The small circles indicate daily values of Balance (based on a combination of step length, footstrike, pronation and cadence imbalances) on days when runs were completed.

4. NURVV Run will inform you specifically on which foot more Pronation occurs, a substantial Pronation imbalance would typically be 10% and above. The Pronation mini-chart provides the Pronation imbalance values for each day for up to the last 28 days. The most recent day’s value is in the dark grey line at the top and previous day’s data goes back in time from top to bottom. For each day, the direction of the line from the centre tells you which side the Pronation imbalance (bias) favours and the length of the line indicates how big the imbalance is. At the bottom of the mini-chart the average direction and magnitude of the Pronation imbalance for the past 28 days is shown.